I’m in Chicago today attending a workshop by the UCC Coalition for LGBT concerns. Many of the participants marched in Sunday’s Pride Parade and the energy from the parade lingers among those at the conference. Here is what the The Chicago Tribune reported about the parade: “A record crowd estimated at 850,000 … turned out to watch the parade wind through the Uptown and Lakeview neighborhoods. This was the first trip down a longer route designed to ease the overcrowding that plagued last year’s parade.” I am surrounded at this conference by people who are comfortable with who they are: people of faith who identify as LGBTQ ( there are also a whole bunch of us straight people here who identify as Open and Affirming). It was in this mindset and culture that I read the letter to the Editor in The Burlington Hawkeye this morning entitled “What He says matters”. Here is a copy of the letter, in case you missed it.
I’m writing to reply to Allison Mutchler’s letter. It really is not whether David Wiemer or you (who is a Christian) believe homosexuality is wrong. But what God says about it is in the Bible. That’s what counts. And if you read the account in the Bible where God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, you’ll know how God feels about it. So if God loathers its so badly that he destroys it with fire, why should we embrace it?
There is also scripture in the New Testament that God gave them over to their own lusts. So why do I have to embrace it? I don’t. I have a dear relative who is gay. I weep for her. My Bible says there will be no sin in heaven.
Why didn’t God destroy Adam and Eve when they sinned so nobody else would have to spend eternity in hell? Because Jesus died for the sins of the whole world and that included them too. Before Christ came and died for our sins, people looked forward to the cross. We who were born after he died look back to the cross.
These days we write our Bibles and make them say what we want them to say. My Bible forbids marriage between races. If God had wanted marble cake, he could have made that too!
Signed: Margarette Jackson from New London
Margarette’s worldview could be summed up in the words “God is judge”. My worldview and the worldview of the UCC could be summed up in the words “God is love”. God is judge means that you and I must oppose evil and if we don’t identify it and fight it, we will be condemned. God is love means we must welcome as Jesus did, promote inclusion, and show compassion. God is judge is supported by all the “thou shalt not” commandments in the bible. God is love is supported by all the “love your neighbor” commandments.
Margarette says she “weeps” for her gay relative. I weep for Margarette and everyone else who goes through life haunted by a loathsome, destructive God perfectly happy to create evil human beings so they can be saved only by means of the torturous cross and/or destined for an eternity in hell. Where in the world did that God come from? And why do we keep Him around (forgive my lack of inclusive language. It seemed appropriate).
Just as I hope that our LGBTQ sisters and brothers are someday freed from the Hell that the Church has put them in, I hope that Margarette can be freed from the Hell her oppressive theology has put her in. One last thing: the theology of judgement promotes exclusion and fear so effectively and to such an extreme that its followers do not even recognize that terms such as “marblecake” are both hurtful and hateful.
I weep for Margarette. She also scares me.